ISLAMABAD  -  Prime Minister Imran Khan constituted a committee comprising State Minister for Interior Shehryar Afridi, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry to engage the religio-political elements.

The Prime Minister was himself supervising the committee, which right now was engaged in negotiations with the demonstrators to carve out some way out through dialogue.

The committee would also engage other politico-religious parties, including Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, Jamaat-i-Islami and Mill Yakjahti Council (MYC), a conglomerate of over a dozen political and religious parties to bring calm in the country and to resolve the current demonstration and lockdown-like situation in various cities across the country without use of force.

Three-member apex court bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar last Wednesday set aside capital punishment awarded to Aasia Bibi, a Christian lady convicted in 2010 on blasphemy charges. 

Sources aware of the developments taking place on this front informed The Nation that PTI people in Punjab were in direct contact with Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) leadership and convincing them to end their protest peacefully.

The Prime Minister’s constituted the committee was supervising the whole negotiation process and some insiders in government informed that no undue demand of protesters would be accepted as government was sitting on the negotiation table from the position of strength.

Prime Minister Imran Khan in his address to nation on national hook up appealed to the protesters to end their protest and not force the state to move against them and to establish writ of the state.

Sources further informed that the Federal Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi was also contacting the JUI-F central leadership as well as Jamaat-i-Islami Amir Senator Sirajul Haq to call off their protest call for Friday and not add to the problems of the government.

Hopefully things would be normalised by tomorrow a senior parliamentarian belonging to ruling PTI informed, adding all patriotic people should stand behind the government and frustrate these miscreants who were trying to make the whole nation hostage.

On the other hand, main opposition parties -Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz)- on Thursday extended full support to government in tackling these elements and not only rejected the position taken by the protesters but denounced their utterances against the superior judiciary and the generals.